Walk in kindness toward the Earth and every living being. Without kindness and compassion for all of Mother Nature’s creatures, there can be no true joy, no internal peace, no happiness. Happiness flows from caring for all sentient beings as if they were your own family, because in essence they are. We are all connected to each other and to the Earth.Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears
One love, one heart, one destiny.Bob Marley
This week we walk into 2022. Whereas we might have floated into the year, or danced, cheered, or slept into it, this year as the last, Covid is at the gate taking tickets. He is a wily character, and we prepare ourselves as we wait to walk through. We have our tools as we each choose: our mask, our vaccinations, our booster, we keep at a distance, we dare not let down our guard. We thought we were done with him, but he is persistent having found a way to recreate himself. He is a living force in our world.
We do not want to start a new year in fear; it does not serve us well and creates an energy around us that is suspicious, paranoid, and hypervigilant. It creates our future. While Covid may be our future for some time to come, we need to find within ourselves a sense of peace with life as it is and an awareness of the world around us that breeds joy, compassion, kindness, and respect for all.
Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I was educated both in the church and in school to understand human as the master of the world, dominant to all living creatures as well as nature. There was nothing we could not do, create, or envision. All the world was our playground, and we left our trash everywhere. Then our playground moved into space, and we littered the heavens with our debris. We caged animals, destroyed indigenous families, tore asunder mother earth.
In the year 2000, I created and offered a retreat on the paradigm of a creation myth envisioning and understanding that each creature tells us something about the All, God, Universal Consciousness; there is an energy or spirit that permeates everything, every rock, water, tree, wind, fire, every human, plant life, and animal; we live in an interdependent universe, the All, Spirit, God, expressing itself through creation, through us and all.
As I review this retreat today, it seems so simple and innocent back then, lovely concepts to meditate on and attempt to be aware of as we walk the earth. Now on the cusp of 2022, we understand these concepts as vital to our survival. To save the world we must remove ourselves from the place of control and power at the top to be one with, truly understanding and living interdependence with all life, with Universal Mind, energy, Spirit. The fishes and the seas and the birds and the air, and all plant and animal life will live very well without us, but we will not survive a moment without them.
The arms depicted in the image above are collective arms, not the arms of one benevolent being but the arms of every one of us bringing through and living out love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. There is much suffering in this vast world. There is also generosity, kindness, and giving hearts. As I sit with this image and recall everything on earth including the children, the abuser, the farmer planting the seed, the developer burning the rain forest, the warrior saving lives, and the dictator killing for greed, I acknowledge that I must accept every bit of life as one energy force being lived out through each unique personality. Personalities that have become distorted in their development, some lost in greed, fear, or addiction, and others who live gently, filled with light and love, and a wide array in between. Life on earth is a vast field of differences.
I can begin to feel overwhelmed when I stretch these thoughts out further and further. Then, I realize that as I return to the core, my breath, the seed of these vast thoughts, I remember, it is all one web of pulsing energy. Active love that is either circulated and transformed or impeded and halted. It is simply me and you being love, allowing flow in and through us, or becoming rigid in our pain, fear, or hate, and stopping the flow within and without.
In showing care in our day, responding with action when needed, understanding, listening, truly listening, every one of us could in this way do much in acknowledging and upholding animal life, the vegetation, those we do not like or even despise, as well as those we know and care for; we will then actively embrace the world together, in community. This is not easy work. It takes courage, conscious living, and will. There are many days when we fall short but we wake up the next day ready for another challenge.
This we can claim: we are not the master but part of; we are not dominant but interdependent; the laws of the universe are meant to be lived with, engaged with, brought into relationship to.
As we step into 2022, we walk with courage, allowing joy, peace, and love to enter our hearts and radiate out to all life. Our pleas for help are answered in varied ways and it is up to us to respond, each in our unique way. We live creation. We watch for the ways we are being lifted so that we might live our best lives. We open to the energy of the universe, dance with it, play in it, create in it.
May life’s blessings shower upon us, may all love surround us, may our hearts be filled with peace. May we all live through the core of our humanity as embodied spirit.
Happy New Year! ¡Feliz año nuevo! bonne année!
frohes neues Jahr! с новым годом! Shanah Tovah!
saehae bok mani bada! Buon anno! Szczęśliwego nowego roku!
Xīnnián hǎo! šťastný nový rok! hauʻoli makahiki hou
Naya saal mubaarak ho!
And to all, peace, happiness, good will.